Inside the Beltway: Impeachment loses its allure for Democrats
Slowly but surely, Democratic leadership is beginning to realize that impeachment talk may not play well in Peoria or anywhere else. For Democrats, the dreams of impeaching President Trump rely on maintaining the scalding emotions of the 2016 election when hatred and fury were the reactions of choice.
But hatred and fury can get old after a while, particularly when the economy and job creation are flourishing and the stock market is recovering; on Monday, a new CNBC poll found that 65 percent of “Wall Street pros” said their overall stock market outlook is positive.
Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer have drifted away from the allure of impeachment, essentially deeming it either premature or a distraction.
The hostile news media, however, is not ready to surrender their impeachment coverage, which is heavy with speculation, melodrama, negative polls and suggested scenarios which often do not distinguish between impeachment and the actual removal of a president.
The realities of Mr. Trump’s presidency could trump those efforts.
“There has been no question that President Trump has been the most successful president in pushing forward a bold agenda, not only from a domestic standpoint but from a foreign policy standpoint as well. In terms of the growth of our economy, of his list of accomplishments that the president has focused on every day. If the Democrats want to keep their impeachment talk where we know there is no collusion, where we have been transparent and cooperative in the process, look, that is a losing strategy for them,” White House director of strategic communications Mercedes Schlapp tells Fox News.
“The American people want the Democrats, the president and the Republicans to work together to solve problems for our nation. That is what the president is focused on every day. If they want to use impeachment as their political maneuver, they can go and try. But let me tell you something. They will lose. At this point, the president is very focused on the agenda, on ensuring that we can find bipartisan solutions on infrastructure and trade, and keep this economy booming,” Mrs. Schlapp says.
PART 2: IMPEACHMENT OBSESSION
Not everyone agrees that the cachet of impeachment is fading among Democrats, though.
“Impeachment, or death by a thousand investigations, is the heart of their plan,” writes New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin.
“Never in modern times has there been such a disconnect between the opposition party and the realities of national life. The very talk of removing Trump, without evidence of an impeachable offense, is a stick in the eye to history and most Americans. To be clear, the disconnect is not the product of policy differences, though they exist too. This is instead a mass outbreak of Trump Derangement Syndrome that, for those infected, can be cured only by undoing the results of the 2016 election,” Mr. Goodwin continues. “And if by some lightning strike they succeed, then what? Impeach President Mike Pence, too?”
TRUMP’S PRIME TIME PROWESS
CNN won’t be happy. Neither will MSNBC or the “Big Three” broadcasters CBS, ABC and NBC.
President Trump has announced he will address the nation Tuesday regarding the “humanitarian and national security crisis” on the southern U.S. border. Showtime is 9 p.m. EST, and the address precedes Mr. Trump’s visit to the region later this week. Within hours of the news, the hashtag “BoycottTrumpsaddress was leading the national trends on Twitter.
Meanwhile, the speech arrives smack in the middle of prime time, signifying a potential loss of advertising income for the broadcasters, and certainly an annoyance. Few want to offer airtime to Mr. Trump when he can offer his views, uninterrupted by aggressive or cranky reporters shouting questions. And lest we forget, Mr. Trump is very much at home in prime time, having starred in his own reality show on NBC for 14 seasons.
A few headlines that immediately followed the president’s big reveal:
“Broadcast networks deliberating whether to air Trump’s prime time immigration address” (CNN); “Trump to address nation about ‘crisis’ at wall on Tuesday” (The Associated Press); and “Trump to deliver prime-time address, travel to Southern border amid shutdown standoff” (Fox News).
Oh, and lest we forget, this speech is a dress rehearsal for an even bigger speech. Mr. Trump delivers his State of the Union address Jan. 29, exactly three weeks from Tuesday.
HELPFUL NEWS FROM BEN CARSON
And now a word from Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who offered an update about the agency to The Daily Signal, the always compelling news and policy digest faithfully issued each day by The Heritage Foundation.
“How would you say HUD is operating today differently under President Trump and your leadership than in the past?” asked contributor Ginny Montalbano.
“One of the big things, perhaps the biggest thing, is that we now have a Chief Financial Officer. This organization was without a CFO for eight and a half years before I came. Can you imagine with the billions of dollars that flow through here? Irv Dennis, who came here from Ernst Young, is a 37-year veteran. We are just thrilled the way he’s putting in the financial controls and fixing things now,” Mr. Carson replied.
“He said that Ernst Young would never have taken this place on as a client because that’s how bad things were. But that is being changed dramatically. We’re modernizing our IT systems, and creating an electronic dashboard, which gives us real-time information about all the places where money has been allocated. All of that makes us into a much more efficient organization.”
POLL DU JOUR
63 percent of Americans disapprove of the way Congress as a whole is handling its job; 61 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of independents and 66 percent of Democrats agree.
26 percent overall approve of the way Congress is handling its job; 32 percent of Republicans, 20 percent of independents and 25 percent of Democrats agree.
11 percent overall are unsure; 7 percent of Republicans, 11 percent of independents and 9 percent of Democrats agree.
43 percent overall approve of the way their own “Congressperson” is handling their job; 52 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of independents and 43 percent of Democrats agree.
36 percent overall disapprove of the way their “Congressperson” is handling their job; 35 percent of Republicans, 29 percent of independents and 41 percent of Democrats agree.
20 percent overall are unsure; 12 percent of Republicans, 30 percent of independents and 16 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Reuters/IPSOS poll of 2,482 U.S. adults conducted Dec. 16-Jan. 1.
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